Delays to £68m rail line upgrade to keep Norfolk branch line closed

A Norfolk branch line will remain closer after a major £68m railway upgrade for the line has been delayed.

The upgrade project on the line between Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft was due to be completed by 31 March, but this deadline will no longer be met and no new date for completion has yet been set.

The line from Reedham to Great Yarmouth via Berney Arms, which shut in October, will remain closed indefinitely in order to allow for more testing to take place.

A spokesperson from Network Rail apologised for the delay to the £68m project and said it was working with the train operator Greater Anglia to work out when services could resume either in full or in part.

The spokesperson said: “We are committed to completing this programme as soon as possible and we are developing a revised timetable for the work. New dates will be communicated in due course.

“Passengers can continue to use their existing service across the Wherry lines, however services on the Berney Arms branch line will continue to be suspended.”

The delay is not expected to increase the cost of the project, and a new date will be announced soon.

Network Rail announced the £68m signalling overhaul in September last year, with a new state-of-the-art signalling system with 66 new colour light LED signals, 22 power operated points, and a remote computer-based signalling control system being installed.

The work was to modernise the Wherry Lines from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and provide a new track layout at Reedham Junction, with Network Rail stating that the “Victorian” era signalling system would be replaced with a modern version.

It said that no trains would run between Great Yarmouth and Reedham for six months because of the upgrades whilst the junction’s tracks were reconfigured.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We really appreciate the patience of our customers using this line during these works.”


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